British Wireless for the Blind Fund

New for Old – replacing outdated equipment

The idea is that we want to replace 120 of our out-dated specially adapted internet audio players, currently out on loan with visually impaired users, with new model sets.

history Campaign has now closed

It ran from 11:27 PM, 21 February 2016 to 1:45 PM, 27 November 2018

Registered Charity in England and Wales (1078287)

Amount raised





  • Health/WellbeingHealth/Wellbeing




First issued by British Wireless in 2007, the ‘Sonata’ wireless internet audio player gave visually impaired people access to radio stations worldwide, podcasts, talking newspapers & books, audio catalogues and other web-based audio content. Changing technology has resulted in this set being superseded. As it is not possible to upgrade its hardware, nor is it economically viable to replace it, we need to replace all the remaining out-dated ‘Sonata’ sets before they become unsupportable.


The next generation model, the ‘Sonata Plus’ (issued since 2012) has its own in-built text-to-speech engine (instead of using a cloud based system) and a Linux operating system which allows upgrades and new functions to be downloaded and installed. This means that sets will have a much longer operational life. By replacing 120 old model sets, we can eliminate the looming problem of memory and audio format issues which will cause a 40% drop in available content over the next few years.